Over 3 million tuned in to watch Florida and UCF in the Gasparilla Bowl

·2 min read

Florida’s loss to UCF in the Gasparilla Bowl drew 3,201,000 average viewers on Thursday night, according to ShowBuzzDaily.

The Gasparilla Bowl was the second-highest viewed bowl game of the season up to that point, but the more major bowl games are likely to knock it down a few spots. Still, the number is a good sign for regional matchups in lower and middle-tier bowl games.

Perhaps even more impressive than the average viewership is earning a .66 in the 18-49 demographic (this is the target age group for most ads). It gives the Gasparilla Bowl the outright lead over the Independence Bowl (.60), which featured No. 13 BYU against UAB. An upset over a top-15 team may have drawn 20,000 more viewers on average, but Florida-UCF outperformed that game in every major television statistic.

Live sports is one of the last pieces of programming that seems to be “DVR-proof” and it’s the reason networks pay ungodly sums of money to keep the rights to air events like bowl games. It’s no secret that UCF and Florida fans looked at this game as the unofficial state championship matchup. That hype led to viewers and it may be something that minor bowls aim to recreate around the country. It’s not an original idea, but the numbers speak for themselves on this one.

UCF is one of the largest universities in the country with a growing fanbase. Its football program is quite young and so are its fans, at least compared to more established programs like Florida. Although it’s speculative, Knight Nation likely helped boost the numbers in the younger demographics.

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